Mental health issues and suicide risk are complex and individual experiences. There are no quick fixes, and the right approach to recovery is an individual experience. The suicidal risk factors you might notice include:
- Saying they want to die (directly or indirectly talking about “things being too much” or they “can’t see any way out”)
- Putting affairs in order, that is, giving away possessions, especially those that have special significance
- Writing about death or suicide, a suicide note or goodbye letters
- Withdrawal and isolation from family and friends
- Withdrawal from activities or commitments that were previously important to them
- Uncharacteristic risk-taking or reckless behaviour
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
- Self-harming behaviour
- Suicidal plans — when or how they may do it — take this risk very seriously
It is considered an emergency when someone has moved on from thinking about it, to making actual plans. In this case, seek help and advice from a service such as The Suicide Call-back Service; 1300 659 467.
Early intervention and education is the key to helping more people and potentially saving lives. A more educated society about mental illness from a young age and in young families will lead to reduced stigma.
-Violet Colja sister of artist Mel Tregonning (dec)
Read about Mel’s book ‘The Small Things’ and the work her sister Violet Colja is doing to raise awareness of mental illness and suicide prevention in the Blooming Minds eMag